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Scent of Ramadan

  • Published at 05:56 pm May 15th, 2019
oud perfumes
Photos : Fahad Bin Ahmed

Top 5 designers oud fragrances

Oud (agarwood) is formed in a tropical evergreen tree called Agar tree. Both agarwood and its resin distillate/extracts are known as “oud” in Arabic and used to describe agarwood. Western perfumers often use agarwood essential oil under the name "oud" or "oudh”. 

Agarwood had immense cultural and religious significance in ancient civilizations around the world, referring back to as early as 1400 BCE in one of the world's oldest written texts – the Sanskrit Vedas from India and many Islamic texts including Sahih Muslim as a medicinal product. Although oud has been a part of the Middle Eastern and Muslim religious culture for very long time it has become a major hit as a perfume ingredient in the west only in the last few years, mainly because all the designer and niche perfume companies are trying to grab the huge consumer base from the Muslim countries of the east. In this process, the perfume users from western countries were also introduced to oud perfumes and oud had its new fan base from all over the world. Big designer houses such as Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Christian Dior, Hugo Boss, Yves Saint Laurent, Polo Ralph Lauren, Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton all released oud perfumes in the last five year seeing the huge success of oud fragrances and wide acceptance of it in the west as well as in the east. Today oud fragrances are regarded highly by the users and loved for theiruniqueness and potency. 

The process of extracting oud oil is quite interesting. In brief, it is derived from the tropical agar tree. When the tree is infected by a mould known as Phialophora parasiticait reacts by producing a dense, dark and fragrant resin to protect itself. It is the resin-embedded heartwood of the tree that is the source of oud. 

Agar trees are mostly found in south-east Asia, India and Bangladesh (Sylhet). Agarwood is one of the most expensive of all natural raw ingredients in the world. It can sell for$5,000 a pound or more. According to the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, oud oil can cost as much as £20,000 perkilogram depending on its purity. 

The scent is described as warm, woody with a slight hint of damp rot, while some varieties are smoky and sweet. The composition of oud is so diverse and complex that it’s hard to describe comprehensively. The western designer perfumes houses produce their oud fragrances with different perfume notes such as tobacco, leather, saffron, cardamom, cedar, sandalwood, pepper, citrusy notes, etc. 

The experimentation to produce unique oud perfumes is still ongoing and the competition to hit the market with a new oud perfume is quite high. All of the following are most suitable for winter, however, can be also worn in air controlled room. The following is a selection of the very best designer oud fragrances.

Versace Oud Noir 

Oud Noir is probably one of the best designer oud perfumes to start ones oud journey. Oud Noir is an oriental and woody fragrance which has a very mild and toned down oud with some spices. 

It opens with bitter orange, neroli and black pepper, and its middle notes are cardamom and saffron, with agarwood, patchouli and leatherwood in the heart. It is a moderate performer but very good for night time and office wear. Its woody nuances are beautifully blended and gives a deepmasculine vibe. It will cost approximately Tk6500. 

Tom Ford Tobacco Oud 

Tobacco Oud is known for being one of the most famous tobacco fragrances as well as being one of the top oud fragrances. The thrilling combination of agarwood and pipe tobacco makes Tom Ford’s Tobacco Oud an astonishing woody oriental fragrance. 

Along with the tobacco and oud it has sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin, incense, cedar and vanilla in the heart which makes the scent slightly creamy and smooth. A 100 mlbottle of Tobacco Oud EDP will cost approximately Tk22000. 

Polo Ralph Lauren Supreme Oud 

One of best recent releases from Polo, Supreme Oud offers a dark and warm scent. The oud in this perfume is very nicely blended and gives a woody vibe and not smoky and remains in the background. Supreme Oud is a solid performer and gives a good projection of two or three hours. It has mainly cinnamon, pink pepper, guaiac wood and oud. It has a pleasant woody composition overall with the vetiver and oud in the base note. There is certainly a Middle Eastern vibe going on but it is not too loud. For a 125ml bottle you need to pay approximately Tk9000. 

Hugo Boss Bottled Oud 

Hugo Boss released their Bottled Oud in 2015 and advertised it to contain 100 percent natural oud. It is a spicy and fruity fragrance with saffron and oud blended smoothly. 

This perfume is most suitable for cold winter nights with formal outfits. The oud in the fragrance is not too loud like most of the designer oud fragrances but smells masculine and luxurious. A 100 ml bottle of this will cost approximately Tk6000. 

 Rasasi Shuhrah 

Among all the designer perfume houses Rasasi is the most entitled to release oud perfumes as they are actually from Dubai. Shuhrah opens with a sweet smoky tobacco vibe with leather. Shuhrah smells slightly animalic as its tobacco accord is quite beastial with sweet oud. 

Shuhrah is known for its great performance and has that Arabian vibe going on too. Rasasi has official distributor now in BangladeshcalledPerfume Bangladesh. All the Rasasi perfumes can be tried and boughtfrom Perfume Bangladesh’s shop located in Purana Paltan. Shuhrah will cost Tk2800.